I should actually put that the other way around since the Birthday party was 3 days before Easter but either way I’m about a week past due to post about either so I’m not sweating the details. (This is a long post so settle down or hide in the bathroom)
Today I finished the thankyou cards, usually, I do them faster but I have been in a fight with my computer and phone and pictures talking nicely to each other but I finally got it done. I know I like my thank you collages, but, I now have proof that the kids (at least one) likes it too since when I was snapping pictures and asking each kid to pose with their birdhouse the two that have been guests before actually mentioned ‘knowing why I take so many pictures’. Anyway, this 9th birthday was a bit of a turn in the road for us in birthday planning because instead of a BIG party with MANY people invited this was a tiny party with very few invited because it was a sleepover. I like both styles, but, I’m glad we went small this time because I was able to do some cool things with them.
- First is something I think is pretty clever and not an absolute Pinterest thing (but inspired by) – I made envelopes that had each activity on a paper inside. I had the stack displayed on the table and it instantly drew in the kids. The first one was opened when everyone had arrived – it made a bunch of activities really feel like they had a ‘theme’ and it was so easy, I just wrote on plain printer paper and folded it into an envelope and numbered the envelopes. Took me about 5 minutes and very worth it
- Activity #1; We made our own pizza! This is the easiest thing ever if you even have the most basic knowledge of dough. I made enough dough for 2 full pizza’s and that was plenty for 6 personal pizza’s and 1 pretty big one (mine!). I suggest just buying a jar of pasta sauce pre-seasoned with basil and/or garlic, it is WAY better than the ‘pizza’ sauce they sell in the store. I made the dough in advance and they had the fun of shaping and adding sauce, cheese, and toppings. There were some very creative designs in the end.
- While the Pizza cooked the next envelope pointed them downstairs to decorate some bird houses. Paint and glitter stickers are a universal love of all and they happily created while I got the next batch of things ready.
- Everyone totally enjoyed their pizza, something about making it custom makes it taste better. Once the pizza was done we moved on to the very important cake portion of the event and as the sun was going down they devoured the rainbow cake.
- The setting sun was actually a closely noted thing for me because it was key for my next activity – we took a little drive to a local park and I broke out 100 glow sticks for their entertainment. You would think that 100 might be excessive but it was about perfect and it indulged all their creative building of things that glowed.
- Then a small road trip to bring one of our guests home, this was actually her first party altogether and a sleepover was totally pushing it with her parents. I hope they let her come to future parties because she had so much fun!
- Home again and another envelope. While they were reading it I actually pulled out a premade basket that was full of face masks, soda, snacks, and a movie. The note had a minor treasure hunt to find the basket and that was icing on the cake. They gladly tucked in to snacks and floats and I painted their faces with gack that they could peel off (peel off is more fun than wash off) while they watched Moana. It was a bit late but they were all good and ready for bed at 10:30 when they all brushed and crashed.
With just 2 extra kids I was able to have cozy mattresses for them made of our big pillows and our tot bed mattresses (those things come in handy so often). I also went to bed because I was beat too and as I read for a half hour I could hear some giggles but they all drifted off.
The next morning we had pancakes and hanging out until parents came and all declared it a total success.
The next two days were rather a low after the party high. Lars had a trip so he was gone, the overtired kids got in a cycle of arguments and not listening, and at a particularly low point, I listesd them for sale on Facebook. We managed to do the two things that were necessary for holiday prep; easter egg dyeing and Figoli decorating. They were bright points actually, surrounded by lots of breaks and deep breathing and attempting to keep it all together. My mom called me when I listed them for sale, knowing that I was probably at the end of the road, and I’m glad that I have a good mom. She isn’t close enough to come over and help but she is intouch enough to know when to call and what to say.
I created easter baskets in relative peace as the kids were put to bed, exhausted, and fell asleep well.
Our easter bunny tradition is to put puzzle pieces in each plastic egg that the easter bunny leaves with us. It is a fun way to fill the eggs that is not full of candy or some other thing that would be unequal unless egg finding is too closely supervised. I have well over 100 eggs so they get to find tons and then they are all combined to make the puzzle. This year I also added a few geode eggs, both in their baskets so they would figure out what they were before they found rocks in their hunt and dump them in the yard. I got the geodes from Oriental Trading ages ago and it was worth the wait to hear “I got a rock?!?” from Zoe as she opened eggs of candy and toys in her basket.
The day was bright and pretty and it was a very Easter rebirth type of day. They enjoyed the hunt and smashing geodes and doing the puzzle and friends came over and it was a very nice day. I suppose without the low the high does not feel as good… I just closed my eyes to the mess and decided to deal with it all on Monday and enjoyed the evening with everyone.
That is our birthday easter adventure weekend. It feels like a month ago given all that we have done since. I have posts coming out my ears so much is going on so get ready for some long reading over the next few weeks!
…. and second day in Hawaii!
The jetlag has worn off everyone finally. Poor Fiona had it worst, the other girls and I did fine and Lars just went to bed early. Speaking of poor Fiona, a bird pooped on her but she didn’t really care. She also got super dirty feet so when we got back from todays outing we washed her from head to toe.
In a not unexpected situation, we were in a house full of Star Wars people who highly desired to see the new movie today. Lars is right there with them. I’m not so much… but! I did really want to see Moana, the movie about Hawaii that is staring one of my favorite actors. Moana did not disappoint, I loved it all and laughed all the way through. I particularly like that Moana was a very fit girl, a real sized active muscled female. Nothing against the waif look, but, the un natural princess proportions do get annoying after a while. For this movie trip, the girls went one way, the boys another, and then we met up for Mexican and a ramble around a park/beach. The park had the coolest trees and was full of the flora and fauna of the tropics. Trees just grow differently when they don’t have to worry about snow or ice.
I also got to experience a Hawaii Target, about the same as ours, to fill in the Santa duties for next weekend. This morning Dan and I ran 4mi in my last run for my year and it was great scenery from palm trees and mountains to f15s and Airforce1. Next up a game night and tomorrow the plan is to go to the beach. This will be a first in my life experience to go swimming on my birthday.
More tomorrow…. I plan on
Today is my dear husbands birthday. He is seldom mentioned here because he is a professional with a professional job and other than the status of his beard (and that is public because its on his face) I tend to keep him off the page.
This birthday he wanted to spend the day with us. He took the day off, we moved Fiona’s daycare day to Friday (and that works out nicely because I will be in NY), I pre did my work for clients I usually do on Wednsdays and we took off! I started the day by taking the kids out grocery shopping because A. it needed to be done and B. he could sleep in. We then showered him with gifts. Shopping for him is not easy because he either just gets the quirky thing he wants, or, he doesn’t want it. We got him some fancy candy, some mole, a cool breadboard, 4 new t-shirts and a new workout shirt, 2 pints of cherries, a pineapple, a nifty cellphone thing for the car since his new one is too big for the old mount and a fancy fancy bike rack. He loved them all.
We went to the zoo and hopped around to all the things we like. The kids were decently behavied and we left before it became a mess. Key to parenting – know when the goings good! Instead of zoo icecream we waited to go to the shop in town and its going to just be a double icecream day because I made him an icecream cake too.
Maybe some friends will come over, maybe not, but I think it was a good day filled with kids and perfect weather and no timeline and double icecream. He will probably never read this because he lives with me so he just talks to me if he wants to know something, but for the record I’m glad to have spent 14480 of your 341640 hours on earth with you.
Ps. and with this, birthday season is finally over, 4 birthdays in a row.
I owe words! I’ve been everywhere except my computer for the past few day. Yesterday I left the house at 1pm (with a no nap Nona) and didn’t get home until 9pm because we had
- field day for Niamh – well done actually, kudos to the staff and bigger kids that ran it all. Everyone had fun (except Fiona)
- Picked up Zoe to add to the fun – she was not included in field day, just 1st and 2nd grade, but I got the joy of waiting in parent pickup line! It actually was not bad at all
- Drive to get our hair rechecked – yeah for lice treatments that keep giving… All good there though, just one re-recheck to go.
- Back to school and I do the worst – I stopped at a drive through to get food into kids and myself because moods were declining.
- At school for STEM night half to support the program and half because we like it. There were not a ton of people there and I’m fine with that! More for us
- Over to Mexican to celebrate Zoe’s birthday a tad late but although she only orders chicken she loves it there. Or she loves the hat….
- Finally home to battle them all into bed
And that was yesterday – the days before looked a lot like it. Good weather, fun outings, later nights out playing not to mention putting in a garden and general outside + inside chores there has been no time to document our lives.
This coming weekend is another doozy. Tons of parties and we are invited to not just one but THREE events and two are actually called MeatFest. At least I won’t need to make meat this weekend, just an epic amount of sides to contribute. I’m thinking corn-bean salad – it’s fresh and tasty and best of all Lars makes it 🙂
I seatbelted myself to my chair today to plow through all the neglected details of email and phone. I now have a dentist apt, paid bills, Zoe’s thank you cards are created and at print, I’ve inquired about an annoying insurance puzzle and set an apt for our local insurance, got our new tenants square on electric, water, sewer, mail, trash etc… even got a coffee break with Vacation friend to plan out some upcoming events so basically I took 4 hours to book about 30 future hours into actions and activities!
So that is my life – how is yours?
Here we are, you are 6, officially documented by the doctor and everything. You are 3’9″ and 46lb and meet or beat all the stats they want except memorizing our phone number – want to guess what the iPad password is going to be next? You also have perfect BMI – long may that last!
I just went back and re-read the other notes I wrote for you. Basically, you are just MORE you this year! You still are a loud talker, you still are the most responsible at remembering what you need for school and even packing it. Over the past year you have continued to love art and surprise me with your drawings all the time. They are detailed and clever and I’m not sure what the average 5-year-olds art looks like but I’m happy with yours and more importantly, you are very happy with yours too.
Kindergarten is just about over for you, just 2 weeks to go. I can say with confidence that you can now read. You can’t read every word yet but you have a very solid foundation and ability to sound out words and you also WANT to read. You read signs and menus and my notes so we can’t tell you that places don’t have ice cream because you can read that they do. You also have developed an appreciation for the different values of coins. Even though you know that a quarter is worth 25 pennies, you will still do anything for the promise of a penny (I’m sure that won’t last). Except clean the car, for that you charge a dollar but you actually do a good enough job you earn that dollar. Oh yeah, I do tricky mom things and get you to clean the car 🙂 If it is a challenge or a game you are all for it, if I just tell you to do it you will dissolve into a puddle of “I can’t” but sometimes you just decide to go do something without being asked.
Our only worry for you is that you worry. You have been really good at taking a concept and applying it all over, you were doing that last year too, but too often right now it is going down a path of anxiety. For example; this year when the France bombings happened our flags were at half mast, you asked why, I gave you a true but not graphic explanation, your first reaction was to worry that it would happen here and to make you feel better I told you it probably would not because the bad guys are mostly interested in places that are way more big and important than here. The first words out of your mouth after that were “they are going to get NY…” followed by a list of people in NY you love including friends we only see a few times a year but you don’t forget people. Someday you will learn about 9-11 and I dread the day because you probably won’t want to get on a plane for a year. Other fears explored this year; fire, house fire, losing all ones toys in a fire, hurricanes, volcanos (and resulting fire), earthquakes and tornados. Get the feeling you learned about natural disasters at school this year?
Aside from the anxiety, you are absolutely fearless. I know that sounds weird but I have absolute confidence in your ability to do things. You can climb, you can run around the block (2min is your record) and you monkey bar so well we had to make a set inside for the winter. I trust that I could send you to the store and you would do fine but that isn’t allowed. You are fine on the bus, at school, at jujitsu and I have zero fear dropping you off for a party or playdate. You went to your first overnight camping trip with girlscouts and was 100% smiles.
Socially you have a few BFF’s and seem to get along with everyone. You have a strange love to befriend people that have some troubles and you insist the little boy in your class is your friend even when he punched you in the face and bit you and often breaks your things. I have to admit, I asked for you to not be allowed to sit with him because you WANT to and it just isn’t good. I know he is working on it and his mom is super nice but I hope to never, ever, ever, hear the phrase “I like him even though he hits me” again!
Fashion is still your thing and you even stopped hating polka dots. You get in a run of wanting the exact same thing every day like the same bow in your hair or the same sweater and your fashion choices are actually really awesome. The 30 piece wardrobe works for you because you like what you like and wear it. I can’t guess what you might like in the store because it is only rational to you but you are ok when I say no about something too. Shopping with you is mostly fun even.
Recently you have been very concerned with things being ‘fair’. Can’t really help you there but I’m trying because we are not all the same and we can’t do the exact same for everyone. Maybe it’s a middle child thing or just a 6 thing but you unbridled joy at all things is certainly tempered by your ire at any perception of unfairness. Unfortunately, you are surrounded by a big sister that just can do more and a little sister who needs more help. I agree, it really isn’t fair, but I would love to find a way for you to stop saying it daily.
Overall you are a loving sister. You think about what everyone wants and needs and you try to help. You can pour apple juice (that you still love with the fire of 1000 suns), completely dress yourself. Shower and teeth only need minor help. You can now tie your shoes and use the microwave and mostly make scrambled eggs. For some reason, you are against learning how to use a knife but you eat better this year. We work on that, giving you points for trying new things (or trying thins you claim to hate but we know you like). You are the best with reward charts and even quit biting your nails (for a while) with a chart.
Your favorite games are anything you can convince someone to play with you from Rampage to candy land and of course uno. You want to be as big as Niamh but you also do like to play with Fiona too (sometimes). When I have a project you are my helper Zebra and I almost forget your real age! In the past year we have gone to Pennsic, Texas, and a long visit to NY. Our good friends moved here so there are two new loving adults in your life and you also got to learn about breakups from another good adult friend and you had an excellent example because his new girlfriend is awesome AND we are all still friend with his former girlfriend and she is someone you always love due to your Z name bond. Other people might read this and think I’m giving you extra credit for understanding these things but I’m here, it is totally true, you understood, asked questions, and came to the conclusion that they weren’t ‘true love‘ but can still be friends since you only get 1 true love and you can have lots of friends that works.
I think I could go on for ages. You are a great kid – frustrating sometimes but insightful – once you said I don’t smile enough so I’m working on that just for you.
Love you Zozo bean
Mom and Dad
Ps. this is how you live life all year long;
Oh my day was so full! I could nearly put three smiles from just today! I had an early morning at the dentist and while my teeth are still not so perfect (everyone needs a flaw 😉 the kids behaved beautifully and when you are taking a 3 and 5 year old to the dentist all bets are off. Their teeth are all good so far. Jet over to school* to drop off Zoe and then to the gym for a really good workout. Home and home stuff and then out to an insurance meeting and then to a GirlScout event! I kicked Lars out for a guy-game night and I’m home with kids asleep and the TV to myself. I can’t help but do a little projecting but I do like that sort of thing…
Without further ado, here are my 3 selected smiles from a pretty good week overall**
- Crazy deck dwelling robins are reproducing.
- Zoe, after a brief few months of going to bed with relative ease, is back at her “I’m not tired” visits 5x an evening. The other day out of sheer exhaustion of her complaints of bedtime boredom, I told her to see how many cats she could fit on a piece of paper. She asked “does it need to be the whole cat?” and I said no, draw whatever you like. This is what she produced. 120 cats. I’m pretty impressed by both the absolute graphic style and how many she seriously fit in there.
- I like that I can have an idea for a banner and have all the things in the house to make it. Scrapbook paper, paper cutter, paint, and vola! “Happy BARKday Zoe” to fit the puppy theme. I also sneak in my show; Gilmore Girls. It is a show that just stands up well in my opinion and I’m thoroughly enjoying watching it and I hope it is still available when my girls are old enough because I’ll watch it again.
.* I have a habit of either NOT going to their school or going 2x in one day. Dropped off Zoe AND had a GS event there tonight. Always 2x, really weird….
** I’m leaving off Mothers day but that was a smile full day all by itself but it already got a post.
*** I almost put a picture of Mr Pink that Fiona took but too many other good things trump the fact that the cat is still alive, but, someone asked so yes – Mr Pink continues but the birds mock him because that nest is so cat vulnerable its silly and he has not noticed them yet.